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Friday, March 18, 2011

Wisconsin: Leading The Charge of Contemporary Anti-Union Laws

I find it interesting that the Republican Governor and the Republican controlled state legislature of the State of Wisconsin are foolishly rushing to squash the collective bargaining rights of their public employess. They cite the state deficit, the current poor economy, and collective bargaining as reasons for not being able to afford the continued wages and benefits of the state's (including local political subdivisions) political employees; and then use that as the reason to strip public employee unions of collective bargaining rights.

I say what a bunch of cowardly, mismanagement, nonfeasance, 'blame-the-other-guy' syndrome! Why do you have to strip the unions of collective bargaining rights? Why not assume the responsibility and accountability of good public management? Tow the line, hang tough in negotiations, and stay with the bottom line management offer regarding wages and benefits. Oh, poor management! That would require them to work. So, those yayholes of Wisconsin Republican politicians decided that serfdom would make for a better workforce and is the better way to manage the budget.

Oh, and the latest (as of the date of writing this Roland Hansen Commentary) on the Republican bulldozing anti-union legislation is that a judge has temporarily blocked the law from taking effect; read about that by clicking here.

If you wish, you may look at this in order to find and read more current information about Wisconsin anti-union law.


CWMartin said...

Dude, you know we don't always agree, and I hope we always can do it with a manner of respect. Therefore, I won't treat this as an attempt to "convert". But your post did make the following things pop to mind:

1. I find your use of the word "cowardly" towards the Wisconsin GOP amusing in light of the fact that the Dems in the state ran out on the battle before them when they knew they wouldn't win by legitimate means. To me, they are the cowards. We have a similar bunch in Indiana, and I have personally informed the local scuzbags to feel free to stay in Illinois in perpectuity. As I said on my blog, I don't care if they're GOP, Dems, or Abe freaking Lincoln. If you leave, don't EVER come back. You're elected to do your job, DO IT.

2. To my understanding, this horrible crime of stripping unions of CB is only being applied to government unions, whose members make 42% more than any others in the state. AND it doesn't even effect salary negotiations. I have a hard time in sympathising with people who make twice and three times as much as I do screaming about things they feel entitled to.

Gotta let go now, this subject yanks my chain good and hard. Let me just finish with, read some of my posts on the subject, particularly the one where the Dem legislator told an interviewer, if you don't like the union contributing 93-7 to the Dems when the workforce only votes 49-47 for them, then get another job.

Roland Hansen said...

You are always welcome to comment and express your perspectives. I appreciate it and I appreciate the fact that we may have differing opinions and remain respectful in our dialogue and with each other.
It is my belief that the Wisconsin Governor and the majority political party in the Wisconsin legislature pushed through their agenda and were not receptive to dialogue with either the minority political party or with the unions. That is an attitude of don't bother me, my mind is made up. There-in lies the problem, in my opinion. It seems to me that the legislative process should be more open and deliberate in disussions that eventually lead to enacting laws that become public policy. In that the afore-mentioned refused to even discuss the issue, the opposition left to make its point and to buy some time in the hopes that an agreement could be reached to allow for open discussions. Pure and simple. They were not about to stand in front of the bus that was going to roll right over them without affording them the opportunity to even address the issue.
Public employee unions? I am totally supportive of public employee unions. Just because the employer is a governmental agency does not mean individuals should have to give up their rights. Straight, upfront, and forward, that is my opinion. For the sake of transparency and full disclosure, I should point out that at one time I was an officer in A.F.S.C.M.E. at the local, regional, and state level in Ohio.
Incidentally, I am also of the opinion that rather than thinking or calling for people who are better paid and/or have better benefits should lower their standard of living that we should push for and advocate that the lower paid people and/or those with less fringe benefits should be better compensated. Bottom line, why call for lower standards of living for some as opposed to calling for good, decent standards of living for all??? Let's bring people up, not bring them down.

Timothy W Higgins said...

As with many other topics, this is one that I find myself of two minds Roland. Because of this, I have taken my time in weight in.

On the one hand we have state legislatures trying to abrogate existing legally negotiated contracts. Attempting to do so is something that I find rather troubling on a number of levels, and not only because of the precedent being set in doing so; but because these same legislators make no attempts to reduce their own lavish compensation packages.

On the other hand however, we have the problematic issue of public sector unions. These are employees who cannot negotiate with their employer in the same fashion as their public sector counterparts. There is no "profit" to fairly divvy up, or at least there shouldn't be or we're paying too much in taxes. The concern that these employees work for is also a monopoly, which means that competition cannot level the playing field for employer or employee to produce a fair result. Additionally, the workers in government are negotiating with bosses whose jobs and futures they have great influence on, which makes these bosses more than amenable to demands.

What we are seeing is typical legislative overreaching and overreaction however, with the law of unintended consequences waiting in the wings to punish some poorly conceived notions. It is met in turn with a reaction of thuggery from unions that does them no credit, not long after the call went out for more civil discourse.

There will probably be no winners here in the end, but there will undoubtedly be any number of victims on both sides.